In a direct assault of America’s freedom of opportunity, here comes Glenn Beck spewing racist rants attacking the DREAM Act, which would give kids that have grown up their entire lives in the U.S. the chance to make something positive of their lives. Via ThinkProgress:
In their efforts to bring down the DREAM Act, which would give children of undocumented immigrants who complete college or volunteer for the military a path to citizenship, conservatives have been smearing the bill as “backdoor amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and claiming it creates a loophole for terrorists. Unfortunately, many of their attacks have also taken on racial undertones. Yesterday, Fox News host Glenn Beck told a caller on his radio show that the bill would disenfranchise white people, saying, “if you’re white or you’re an American citizen or a white American citizen, you’re pretty much toast.” Beck suggested his caller steal a Mexican ID card in to receive the supposedly preferential treatment minorities will receive under DREAM.
Ed Schultz of MSNBC did a segment on this very same topic:
It would be one thing if Glenn Beck was the only conservative peddling the psychotic attacks on the DREAM Act, being that he has a chronic history of spewing racist hate speech. However, the disturbing trend of advancing misinformation goes beyond Beck. ThinkProgress elaborates:
While clearly bigoted, Beck’s comments appeared to have the joking tone of a self-described “rodeo clown.” But Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) was not joking when he took to the House floor Wednesday to warn that voting for “the Affirmative Action Amnesty Act,” as he dubbed DREAM, will “relegate the position of non-minority American citizens to behind those who are now in this country illegally.”
Appearing on Radio America with Greg Corombus yesterday, Rohrabacher expanded on the dangers to white people of DREAM, explaining that the “real zinger” is that it puts minorities “ahead of every American child who’s not a minority.” “[T]hey can get into college before our kids,” Rohrabacher said on behalf of white people everywhere, warning ominously at the end of the interview that “if Americans aren’t alerted to this, we’re going to lose our freedom”[…]
Media Matters also reported:
Elsewhere in the right-wing press, pundits are asking whether a bill aimed at assisting Hispanics will be a “nightmare for hard-working Americans,” calling the bill “shamnesty,” and raising the specter of criminality, calling it “reckless illegal alien amnesty” and that “incentivizes illegality.” Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher even compared the beneficiaries of the bill to bank robbers.
This is a reflection of what the American Prospect‘s Adam Serwer pegged as “the widely held conservative view that minorities and whites in America are in a zero-sum competition for scarce resources.” Essentially, if the government does something to benefit minorities, it must be at the expense of white people. It’s not true, of course, but that’s not the point — it’s all about capitalizing on racial resentment.
In the last two years, the racially divisive rhetoric coming out of the conservative media has grown more and more explicit. We now almost expect right-wing pundits to just come out and say that Obama is acting contrary to the interests of white people. When it happens, it’s barely noticed by the rest of the media.
While that doesn’t bode well for the future of journalism, it’s even more destructive for the minority groups that find themselves the targets of these attacks. The promise of America is that the rights of the minority and the rights of the majority are one and the same. The right-wing media’s destructive and discriminatory rhetoric is meant to ensure that that equality is never realized.
Let’s hope that the dark forces of racism whose goal is to destroy America’s values of equality for all of our people do not prevail, let’s hope that the forces of freedom, opportunity, and the pursuit of happiness prevail and that DREAM Act becomes law.